Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Antibiotic Crisis

The global crisis of antibiotic resistance has grabbed headlines around the world.  We've long depended on antibiotics to cure everything from pneumonia to skin infections but are now realizing that antibiotics are no longer a sure bet.  More and more bacteria are becoming resistant to the standbys we've depended on and there are no new antibiotics emerging.

Realizing the seriousness of the situation, lessons specific to village health care were developed and shared with the HealthEd Connect health workers recently.  They are on board and eager to spread the news!

The plan?

1.  Use a home-made guava-leaf antiseptic as the first line of defense.  Research in U.S. universities is finding guava to be highly effective against staphylococcus and other bacteria.
2.  Use Vaseline on wounds, such as cuts or burns, where there is no evidence of infection.
3.  Use a single antibiotic ointment for infections that do not respond to the guava-leaf antiseptic.
4.  Finally, go to our miracle worker, the triple antibiotic ointment that has cured countless leg ulcers and other infections over the years.

We've been receiving reports from the health workers that the new plan is working well and many wounds can be healed without resorting to the triple antibiotic ointment.  We're trying to do our part in the villages, as members of the global community, to preserve the efficacy of antibiotics.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Top-notch School!

According to the Zambian Open Schools Organization (ZOCS), over one million school-age children in Zambia are not enrolled in school.

 Even though the government provides many primary schools, the numbers are insufficient to support the 1.4 million orphans.  Community schools, like HealthEd Connect's, support approximately 30 percent of the total number of children in Zambia .  But every school is not created equal!!

Our school in Chipulukusu was recently appointed as one of the few model schools in the Copperbelt by the government.  At a recent government meeting attended by two of our teachers, the school was lauded for:
  • Providing scholarships for teachers
  • Serving hot lunches to the children
  • Supporting a scholarship program for grade seven graduates
And, I might add, 100% pass rate on the recent 7th grade standardized exam.  Congratulations to the Young Peace Maker School at Chipulukusu for yet another honor!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

What is poverty?

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless.  The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.
   - Mother Theresa

Joyce, one of the long-time committed Kafwa health workers in Zambia, once remarked, "The greatest thing we've ever done in our community, is provide the Isubilo [grief support program] for the orphans."  Initiated in 2011, the Kafwa have used this 13-week program to love hundreds of orphans back to life. 

The biggest payoff?  Seeing these same timid withdrawn children seven years later as typical middle school students full of confidence and even a bit sassy!  What a miracle the Kafwa have performed!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Mother's Day

                         A baby on its mother's back does not know the way is long.  
                                                       African proverb

Mini-mom Big Sister

Tragically, there are 140 million orphans globally who have lost a mother or father or both.  They know from experience the way is long, difficult, and heart-breakingly challenging.  That's where a caring community that provides education, wholesome activities, and love becomes critical.  Nothing replaces a mom of one's own, but being surrounded by those who care goes a long way.

We join together in celebrating mothers worldwide this weekend while passionately working to support the orphans who don't have the luxury of being carried on their mother's back or sitting on her lap.  Of the 1374 students currently enrolled in our schools in Zambia, 638 are orphans. Thanks to the incredible HealthEd Connect supporters, hope and joy are being brought back into the lives of children who are journeying through life without the benefit of a mother's love.

If you'd like to honor a mother in your life while supporting these orphans, go to our web page and make a donation at  A little bit goes a long way --- a modest $25 provides 208 school lunches!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Long walk

Jane holding baby with proud mom, Minivar, looking on
Think of the iconic car in the U.S. driving at break-neck speeds to get a pregnant woman to the hospital in time to deliver her baby.  Then think of the developing world where no cars are available and a trip to the hospital requires walking.

When walking is the only option, the assistance and company of a caring companion is deeply appreciated.  Jane, our Kafwa supervisor in Luapula, Zambia, recently said she walked very slowly to the hospital with Minivar, one of her neighbors, who was in labor.  The important thing is, they made it in time and sent us a picture of the proud mother and her baby boy as proof.

The maternal mortality rate in Zambia has declined from 577 in 1990 to 224 per 100,000 live births in 2015 (UNICEF). Fortunately, modest little Zambian  hospitals with free government services are becoming more readily accessible for moms in rural areas.   The U.S. by comparison has 12.7 maternal deaths per 100,000 and Finland, the top-ranked country in the world, 3.8.

With Kafwa like Jane to accompany moms to the hospital, more and more women are taking advantage of the safe delivery service saving thousands of moms' and babies' lives.  There's still a long way to go, but, in the meantime, Kafwa like Jane will keep accompanying moms on the slow walk to the hospital.